Transom

Geek Chic? Not So Fast: New York’s Wearable Tech Conference

A model wears the Misfit around her neck.

“So where is wearable technology going?” asked Monisha Perkash, the CEO of LUMO BodyTech (maker of a posture-monitoring waistband), as she stood center stage at last week’s Wearable Tech Conference on the NYU campus. Ms. Perkash answered her own question: “It is becoming integrated into our day-to-day lives,” she said. “It’s going into fabric.”

Fellow panel member Sonny Vu—whose company, Misfit, makes a fitness tracker that looks like a tiny chrome button—agreed: “I believe we’re going to move from an era of stuff on your body to one where, hopefully, we’re back to where we were in 1990,” before everyone was bristling with visible gadgetry, he speculated. Read More

Fashion Fail

Somebody Made an ‘iPhone Shoe’ Using a 3D Printer

This thing. (Photo: BBC)

Apparently there’s nothing you can’t make using a 3D printer. That’s what obviously bored European designer Alan Nguyen has proved with his creation. It’s a Croc-like shoe (a.k.a. the peak of high fashion) that consists of lumped-together iPhone cases as the platform, alongside a slot to hold your Apple device. Who needs their phone in an easily accessible place anyway?

Mr. Nguyen told the BBC that the wedge is fully functional and called it “pretty comfortable.” That doesn’t help its ugliness though. He works for Freedom of Creation, a 3D printing studio in Amsterdam and designed the shoe to test copyright limitations. Read More

Planet Google

Here’s What It Feels Like to Wear Google Glass

Pfft, American. (Photo: Google)

Attention fellow wannabe cyborgs: Google Glass can soon be ours! As long as you have $1,500 and are willing to use Google Plus. So, ya know, there’s that.

In a new video, the notoriously tightlipped Project X team released some fresh details about Google’s attempt at wearable technology. The video, which–yes–includes skydiving, shows users saying “OK glass” to get the attention of the system before sending it commands, such as “Take a picture,” “Record a video” and “Say ‘delicious’ in Thai.” The system also sends speech-to-text messages and livestreams video. Read More

Wearable Tech

Augmented Reality Glasses Could Be an Awkward Person’s New Best Friend

Mr. Starner (cs.uoregon.edu)

In this month’s MIT Technology Review, journalist Farhad Manjoo got a chance to talk with a technology lead for Google’s Project Glass, Thad Starner. An associate professor at the Georgia Institute for Technology, Mr. Starner has been experimenting with wearable technologies since the mid-90s, and was tapped by Google to advise them on issues surrounding Project Glass, the company’s attempt to commercialize computerized glasses.

Ever the skeptical journalist, Mr. Manjoo went into the meeting expecting to find the glasses polarizing and detrimental to social interaction. Also: dorky and vaguely creepy. Instead, Mr. Starner successfully convinced him that Google’s glasses will actually amplify social interaction, stripping it of those awkward phone-checking asides and lulls in conversation when we go to respond to a text. In short, Google glasses could be a socially awkward person’s best friend. Sign us up! Read More